Inside the Global Fight to Save a Species on the Brink

#OperationCrash #OperationRhino

Conservation and The Law

Following the Prosecution of Exotic Animal Syndicates in South Africa and the United States.

CONSERVATION AND National Security: Poaching, Arms Smuggling and Terrorism.

Governments respond to the threat to national security posed by heavily armed groups of poachers. In South Africa, law enforcement agencies investigate links between poaching syndicates and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.


"Go get more horn..." Jim Lolli

From Windhoek to Hanoi via Kansas City: How U.S. businesses are helping rhino horn syndicates

About Rhino-ER Hidden Empires
Driven by demand for rhino horns in Asia, an increase in the number of black rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana has resulted in a global effort to save the endangered species from extinction. With only 4000 black rhinos left, poachers killed more than 600 in 2012 alone and at least five people have been killed in South Africa since January 2013.
In the United States, seven people have been convicted of dealing illegally in rhinoceros horns and more than 37 rhino horns have been recovered in an ongoing operation codenamed Operation Crash. This collaborative investigative reporting project takes a closer look at global rhino horn smuggling syndicates, their impact on the world's remaining natural habitats for the black rhinoceros and what is being done to stop them.

The Team

Rhino-ER is a collaborative investigative reporting project funded by the Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

  • Wonder
    Tawanda Kanhema
    Tawanda Kanhema is an investigative journalist with experience covering politics, resource conflict and environmental issues in Africa. His research interests focus on transparency and governance, capital flight and inflows of foreign direct investment into resource-based African economies. Kanhema is a recipient of the Mark Felt Scholarship in Investigative Reporting at the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism 2012-2014.
    Carly Nairn
    Carly Nairn is an investigative journalist. From covering the conditions inside animal slaughterhouses to high profile environmental cases and corporate governance among key players in the energy sector, Carly writes on variety of topics that pique her insatiable curiosity. Nairn is a recipient of the Mark Felt Scholarship in Investigative Reporting at the Berkeley Gaduate School of Journalism.

  • The Cases

In the News

  • Editing
  • Rights
  • Funding

Featured Video

    THE NUMBERS 2010-2013

    Number of poaching incidents and arrests.


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    Contact us or sign up for regular updates on this project
    Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
    Berkeley, CA

    Tel: 707 348 2044
    Mob: 530 750 9621

    Email: kanhema@gmail.com